Educational Savings Plans are a great way to put some money aside for your child’s (or grandchild’s) post-secondary educational needs. When done correctly, and as long as they are used at a qualified post-secondary educational institution, the gains on any investments are tax free. Planning for college and how to pay for it is something that we specialize in. We’d love to show you how, but for now, here are some basics to know:
529 college savings plans
These are programs set up to help towards post-secondary educational expenses. While the contributions are not tax-deductible, the earnings from the gains in the investments are tax free and many states offer tax breaks as well. Other advantages to 529 plans would include no income limits, age limits, or annual contribution limits and ability for the owner of the 529 plan to switch beneficiaries when desired. Although there are lifetime contribution limits, this program is very suitable for many upcoming high school graduates
Coverdale Education Savings Account
Like a 529 plan, these plans offer tax-free investment growth and tax-free withdrawals when the funds are spent on qualified education expenses. However, in addition to college expenses, certain K-12 purchases are also considered qualified when using this education savings account. Limits to contributions for these accounts equal $2,000 a year and there are income limits for who can contribute to these accounts.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a document that the parent of a child who would like to apply for college financial aid needs to complete. The FAFSA will ask a number of questions relating to your net worth and tax situation—the answers to those questions will quantify the amount of financial aid that a student can receive for school. For college expenses, the government expects some of the funding to come from the family of the student. The EFC—or the amount you’re expected to contribute toward your child’s education costs—factors in the following financial resources: real estate, money, investments, business interests, and income (both student and parents).
For more information on any of these topics, or if you would like to set up an account, we’d be happy to help!
To get started, contact us today.
*The fees, expenses and features of 529 plans can vary from state to state. 529 plans involve investment risk, including the possible loss of funds. There is no guarantee that a college-funding goal will be met. In order to be federally tax-free, earnings must be used to pay for qualified higher education expenses. The earnings portion of a non-qualified withdrawal will be subject to ordinary income tax at the recipient’s marginal rate and subject to a 10-percent penalty. By investing in a plan outside your state of residence, you may lose any state tax benefits. 529 plans are subject to enrollment, maintenance, and administrative management fees and expenses.